August 4, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Brandon Inge (7) runs home against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Inge reportedly close to deal with Pirates

One thing the Pittsburgh Pirates have not addressed this offseason has been their horrid bench.

Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington may be taking a step to adding a piece to that bench, reportedly being close to signing Brandon Inge to a minor-league contract.

July 29, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Brandon Inge (7) at bat in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Athletics 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reported that Inge expected to sign a minor-league deal with the Bucs, with an invitation to spring training.

Inge played pretty well for the Oakland A’s last year after he was released by the Detroit Tigers in April. He is coming back from surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder.

His versatility could be a good fit with the Pirates. He is a guy who has started games at five different positions. The 35-year-old Inge also proved that he can still be a productive hitter, hitting 11 home runs with 52 RBI in 311 at-bats with Oakland a season ago.

He is the typical type of bench signing for Huntington as during his tenure he has attempted to fill bench roles with minor league contracts and waiver claims.

But if Inge can prove to be healthy, he can play both corner infield and outfield spots as well as fill in behind the plate if needed.

Hopefully he still has some pop in his bat, as the Bucs lack punch off the bench.

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Tags: Brandon Inge Pittsburgh Pirates

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